Russians investing in Turkey

Turkey becomes a Safe Haven for Russian Investors

Created : 24 May 2022
Russian Oligarchs

By Justin Mays:

A number of Russians have increased their investment in Turkey due to the sanctions that have been imposed on the country ever since President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine. Russians who reside in Turkey and some Oligarchs have shown an increased interest in investing in various sectors in the country which include real estate, various businesses, and the energy industry. 

Turkey is popular with Russian oligarchs who often visit for its long Mediterranean coastline and sunny climate. Recently, eight yachts that belong to Russian oligarchs worth a collective of 1.1 billion were anchored in Turkish ports. Two of the yachts are the 533-foot Eclipse owned by Roman Abramovich worth $438 million and Solaris, a 458-foot yacht for 474 million. Some moved their yachts to Dubai and others took theirs to the Maldives. 

Turkey has been at the forefront of peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine and it has rejected Western sanctions on Russia. A communications Manager at Space, a real estate firm, Zeynep Firatoglu said that “Sanctions imposed by the European countries and the U.S. triggered billionaires to look for alternative investment markets. Turkey stood out as a viable option with its geographical location, advanced markets, and banking system, as well as its neutral stand between Russia and Ukraine.

The data from the Turkish Statistical Institute indicates that home sales to Russian and Ukrainian buyers grew by 96% and 85% respectively. In March foreign buyers bought 21% more homes in the country compared to the previous month.

The citizenship by investment program has attracted a lot of Russians since it offers Turkish passports within three to four months to the investor, giving them an option of dual citizenship. Besides buying real estate in Turkey, investors can also invest $500.000 in government bonds, investment funds, or a local bank account in order to secure citizenship.

In March alone, Russians opened 64 companies in Turkey. Eray Sayin, an associate at Sayin Law and Consulting said that the process of setting up a company takes five days and costs around $3.400. He also indicated that his company received 25 requests of opening a company in 25 days from Russians. “After sanctions were imposed on Russia, there has been a boost in the number of companies founded by Russian citizens in Turkey”, he added.

There is a possibility that if Turkey refuses to impose any sanctions on Russia and as long as Western sanctions are in place, it is expected for Russian oligarchs to continue investing in Turkey. In as much as there are those that are interested in real estate, there is a number according to Saying that have shown interest in the energy industry. There is also an expectation of investing hundreds of millions of dollars in Turkey if the war continues when Russians move their businesses and families to Turkey. 

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